> Some points:
Hey CyberSim. See replies spliced in below.
> (1) Do you think that you will want to update the motherboard BIOS at any
> time in the future? If the answer is "yes", will the motherboard
> manufacturer's BIOS-update tool work in MBR mode, or does it require
> Windows 10 working in UEFI mode?
I'm doing a standard "vanilla" new desktop build using modern components. Motherboard will be an Asus Crosshair VII x470 with 32GB RAM and AMD Ryzen 2700. This particular board is rather easy to update, even included a feature to plug in a USB pendrive into the back and update that way...no OS involvement. Originally wanted to use a Samsung 970 1TB NVMe SSD as the primary boot drive which would hold my BING boot/partition manager, plus my Linux Mint OS (primary driver). As in my OP, also wanted to mount other SATA SSD's to handle a WIN10 install (get's it's own, dedicated ssd) and then another SATA ssd which would be solely dedicated to experimenting with multiple Linux distros. Will also have one old style HDD (1 or 2 TB) for other file storage.
> Example: the tool for Lenovo works only on Windows 10 in UEFI mode. This
> is very annoying for Linux users (they have to install Windows 10 in
> another partition), and for MBR users (they have to have a separate disk
> with a GPT partition containing Windows 10 booting in UEFI mode).
That's extremely useful information as I have a couple of 2-3 year old Lenovos lying around the house here that my kids were using. Was thinking about trying to convert one of them to Linux for my own use. But now...?
> (2) M.2 slots can be either SATA, PCI-E, or both. If a PCI-E M.2 SSD does
> not boot in MBR mode, a SATA M.2 SSD might boot successfully in MBR mode.
> I have not tried this, so this is just a suggestion. But it might be worth
> checking the capabilities of the M.2 slot in your motherboard.
I'm aware of this. The Crosshair VII has two M.2's, one dedicated solely to NVMe but unfortunately shares PCIe lanes with the GPU, and another which will work NVMe or SATA but doesn't share with GPU. I only plan to populate that one M.2 NVMe and leave the rest of my storage requirements to SATA ssd's. Truth is my heart was set on PCIe because it's freakin SO MUCH faster then SATA. I guess I will only find out about my BIOS and boot concerns when I sit down and put the thing together later this month. Should be interesting.
> (3) PCI-E M.2 SSDs require an additional driver. Windows 10 already
> includes this driver, but Windows 7 does not. The manufacturer of the SSD
> should provide a driver for Windows 7. Samsung do, but check other SSD
> manufacturers if Windows 7 support is important to you.
As I previously mentioned I am indeed using the Samsung brand for both my M.2 and 2.5" SATA needs. Windows 7 is near EOL and no need to install it now that I discovered I can run a critical program I need under a VM in Linux. I do need to install Win10 however just to handle a few esoteric programs and a game or two that (AFAICT) won't run on Linux (but hopefully that will change this year!).
> (4) Some timings for an Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, booting from a 2TB SATA
> SSD in MBR mode, mains powered:
> Time from pressing power button to BIOS password screen: 9 seconds
> Time from BIOS password screen to BIBM boot screen: 10 seconds
> Time from BIBM boot screen to Windows 10 logon screen: 12 seconds
Heh heh, that's about what I get on my current system I built way back in 2011: Intel i7 Sandy Bridge, 2600k on some old MSI Z68A-GD65 board with 16GB ram. But now I've got a cap or two starting to fail and a warp core explosion is imminent, Captain!